Here is an excerpt from the first Chapter:
The background is my father moved job when I was sixteen. He was a Planning Officer and he’d moved to work for a new council. Not just any Planning Officer, he was a Deputy Chief Planning Officer, now. We moved in the April, so I missed the last three months of my old school and would have to travel back to sit the exams; and the College he’d enrolled me near our new house at didn’t start until September. The new house was grossly loathsome. The cul-de-sac it was on was called Admiral Mews! ‘A prestige new residential development of detached houses with commanding views’, the Estate Agents said, but I would add it was built on hitherto unspoilt countryside and it looked plastic and sterile with mock Tudor effects, just as if it was built out of Lego – never my favourite substance.
As soon as I arrived, I got on my bike and cycled round the hill at whose base the Admiral Mews development had been built. I had no friends now and knew no one and I had nothing else to do except revise for my exams. There was a narrow winding road circling the base of this steep wooded hill, more precipice or cliff-face than hill in places. I cycled round it until I noticed a track heading steeply off it up the hill from a small lay-by. There were big sawn-up tree trunks and large lumps of concrete blocking the track’s entrance from motor vehicles, but I just pushed my bike past the barriers and biked up through the trees until I came to the summit where I found myself on a high wide flat windy moor-land plateau open to huge skies with a birch wood at one end, and, in a high clearing within the wood, I found a stone circle.
The stones were not very big, intimate – only a few feet high, but the place was breathtaking. It was so hidden in its clearing, but the clearing was wide so that the circle was sweepingly open to the full arc of the skies and clouds, winds and sun. The moment I saw it, words came into my mind and echoed in there. The words were: ‘waiting’ ‘waiting for you’.
I stayed in the circle every day after that, just hanging around, enjoying the silence, revising for my exams, thinking. The important thing is that the place felt totally quiet, weird, timeless. I definitely felt I was a different person, there – and I was much happier with this different me – but it took me weeks and months before I could even begin to describe exactly how it was changing me. The change is in me still. I can feel it. The fact is it is as if some energy was there. I am certain it had been put there by the people that built the stone circle, or it could be the stones had been built there because of the energy of the place, I suppose; or both: but either way it was definitely a very different world.
I began to feel very different in my body and my mind changed. My head felt different. My body felt more solid and alert. I felt more of a man. I felt more part of the great sweep of time and the endless turning of the seasons and the life of animals and birds. I believe it had given this gift to its makers who first used it for their rituals over three thousand years ago, but how this energy was created in the first place is a deep mystery. If you go there you, too, might experience the truth of these feelings. And later on, I found it had other gifts as well.
The truth is that, by strange coincidence, other people were called to the Circle at exactly this same time, and our arrivals coincided with a time when the Circle itself came under a threat that put into peril its presence on this landscape where it had stood holding its power for three thousand three hundred years.
I was so lucky and blessed in these other people who were also called to the Circle. My whole life changed. It happened like this.
Sacred Earth by Michael Conneely
Liam finds his life path in vision, ritual and living close to the earth. He leaves his cold and ambitious father who cares only for exam results and career and joins a protest group dedicated to saving a Bronze Age Stone Circle threatened by the start of quarrying near-by. In confronting the forces of greed, money, law and order and establishment, to whom an ancient sacred site is valueless, Liam is forced to make a choice: whether to risk his liberty in joining the protest or turn away out of fear. In defending the sacred earth, he discovers the Vision Realm, love and family. His life will never be the same again.
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